Suppose a person to put down 20s. upon a card when only eight are
in hand; the last card was a cipher, so there were four places to
lose, and only three to win, the odds against being as 4 to 3.
If 10 cards only were in, then it was 5 to 4 against the player;
in the former case it was the seventh part of the money, whatever
it was, L1 or L100; in the latter case, a ninth. The odds from
the beginning of the deal insensibly stole upon the player at
every pull, till from the first supposed 4 per cent. it became
about 15 per cent.
At the middle of the 18th century the expenses of a Faro bank, in
all its items of servants, rent, puffs, and other incidental
charges of candles, wine, arrack-punch, suppers, and safeguard
money, &c., in Covent Garden, amounted to L1000 per annum.
Throughout this century Faro was the favourite game. 'Our life
here,' writes Gilly Williams to George Selwyn in 1752, 'would not
displease you, for we eat and drink well, and the Earl of
Coventry holds a Pharaoh-bank every night to us, which we have
plundered considerably.' Charles James Fox preferred Faro to any